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Poverty charity boss outed for driving Maserati company car

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Poverty charity boss outed for driving Maserati company car
A file photo of the Quattroporte Maserati. Photo: DPA
11:30 CET+01:00
A poverty relief organisation in Berlin is under pressure this week after it emerged that the director’s company car is a Maserati driven by two chauffeurs.

News of the luxury Quattroporte model – priced at €114,000 by the manufacturer – came to light when the German media reported on a court dispute involving the charity Treberhilfe over a speeding ticket.

The car was allegedly caught speeding by police radars in Müritzkreis, Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania last June. But because police could not tell whether the charity's director Harald Ehlert or one his chauffeurs was at the wheel, they demanded Treberhilfe keep a vehicle log. But Ehlert has refused and the case will be addressed in a Berlin court next week.

Treberhilfe’s sponsoring organisation, the Protestant church’s charity umbrella group Diakonisches Werk, has demanded consequences for what is sees as unseemly behaviour for a charity that is partially funded by donations and enjoys government support such as tax breaks.

But Ehlert this week defended his company car, explaining that he is also an investor in the organisation.

“We work unconventionally, but with absolute seriousness,” he said, adding that his car was a sign of how successful he had been at leading Treberhilfe, which has 28 locations and 250 employees in Berlin.

Ehlert also explained that he paid a discounted price for the car when he bought it in 2007 – between €70,000 and €90,000.

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